It all started with V-Day. I cannot stand forced holidays; I consider Valentines and New Years Eve to be two of those for starters. Don't get me wrong. I love a good time. I just don't like it when society makes me feel compelled to have a good time. I hate the Death Race 2017 type running for restaurant reservations, the right table, (hell any table) at the right time (dinner at 10:30? I think not) or even finding a place in our small town that isn't already booked waaaaay up. You see one of the side effects of living in a tourist town is not only does one have to worry about how to spend ones' holiday, one also has to worry about all the other people who have flooded into town to spend their holiday in Wine Country. There's nothing romantic about trying to choke down a prixe fixe meal while all the other celebrants who are waiting for you to finish, stand and stare and shift their weight around and sigh.
So, about two years ago we decided the heck with that. We'll dine in for Valentines Day. I'll cook something special, we'll watch a movie that's the way to go. So we did that and it was soooooo much more relaxing, that it's now how we like to roll on those Must Celebrate Holidays. This year I had no trouble figuring out the appetizer and entree course, salad is salad but what for dessert?
Since I've been working helping develop the menu for CocoaPlanet I've been cooking up a storm and now have a large collection of potential desserts to draw on. I wanted something warm and homey and also simple. We've been working hard around here the last couple of months, and finally have the pilot script done, turned into the producers and director and out of our hair... for now. I'm also nearly recovered from the surgery I had a couple of weeks ago as soon as the script was finished... so even thought I wanted to, I wasn't about to make a Croque Embouche.
After all, I'm not that nuts! I decided to make the perfect homey sort of dessert. The dessert that Alan loves to order any time he finds it on a menu, a Winter Fruit Crumble. Simple , tasty, and it bakes in the oven while the main course is being eaten. Can't beat that. If you have any bags of frozen cranberries left hanging around from Christmas or Thanksgiving...now's the time to look like a smarty pants and use them. Otherwise, grab some apples, pears, berries and you've got a party, a crumble party.
Winter Fruit Crumble
Here's What You Need:
1 cups frozen cranberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 Braeburn apples (or any other seasonal apple) peeled, cored, and cut into pieces
2 Bartlett pears peeled,cored, and cut into pieces
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 /2 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 Tbs cornstarch
For The Topping:
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup flour (regular or gluten free)
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter softened
1/2 cup sugar
Here's What To Do:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Mix the fruit together.
Add in the sugar and cornstarch.
Stir everything around coating the fruit well.
Grease individual ramekins or one 2 quart baking dish with butter.
Put the fruit into the ramekins or baking dish.
I halved this recipe since it was just the two of us.
Now for the topping, cut the softened butter into bite sized pieces.
In a separate bowl mix together the rolled oats, the sugar, flour, and salt.
Crumble the butter pieces into the rolled oats, flour, and sugar.
Mix it all together well into crumbly bits and sprinkle the crumbly topping onto the fruit tarts.
Place the baking dish or ramekins on a cookie sheet and place into the middle rack of the oven.
Bake until the juices are bubbling and the top is golden. Let it cool for a bit before serving it up.
You can top it with whipped cream, creme fraiche, or since it was V-Day, I made some vanilla bean ice cream.
Dig in...and take your time. Savor and enjoy....no one is waiting for your table.
Coming up next, back to seasonal Indian food, what grows around, gets served. Follow along on Twitter at @kathygori